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Upper Peninsula Weekly Fishing Report – Feb. 3, 2021

Keweenaw Bay: Ice was starting to form near shore. EXTREME CAUTION NEEDS TO BE USED, AS IT IS EARLY ICE. Anglers need to be aware of changing ice conditions, especially with a south wind.

Little Bay de Noc: Ice conditions were widely inconsistent around the bay. Good ice at the head of the bay has created a false sense of safe ice, as it may be a foot thick in one area and less than an inch nearby. Several anglers have fallen through the ice recently, either walking or operating snowmobiles and ORV’s. EXTREME CAUTION NEEDS TO BE USED. Areas of special concern include Saunders Point, Hunters Point, the access site at Fayette and Ogontz, Farmers Dock, and near the mouth of the Escanaba, Days and Ford rivers.

Munising: Ice anglers are out on the bay, and more ice shanties are popping up. ICE CONDITIONS ARE NOT CONSISTENT, SO ANGLERS NEED TO USE CAUTION, ESPEICALLY WITH MODERATE SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS IN THE FORECAST. Avoid the channels and Grand Island Access areas. There is a large pressure crack off Powell Point. Anglers are getting splake, coho, whitefish, burbot and perch, including some limit catches by those putting in the time. Fishing pressure was high in the mornings off the Anna River Access, the city docks and Sand Point. Splake were hitting jigs with minnows or wax worms in the bottom 6 feet. Coho were slow, with anglers getting maybe one fish per hour. Those spearing for herring reported slow catch rates. Those targeting burbot were seen off Sand Point and off the Anna River.

Grand Marais: A few anglers have started ice fishing in the harbor for coho and Menominee, but no reports have come in.

Cedarville and Hessel: There is ice fishing activity in Musky Bay, and a few anglers were out in Government Bay and the Cedarville Channel; however, ice conditions were unknown. Those out were taking 6- to 10-inch perch when jigging minnows. A few pike were caught. The ice in Hessel Bay was variable, with more on the east side than the west side. Perch fishing picked up with 7- to 10-inch fish caught when jigging minnows in 14 to 17 feet. A few splake ranging from 20 to 26 inches were also caught when jigging spoons in 10 to 16 feet.

Fishing Tip: Four tips for fishing for northern pike in winter

Now may be the time to learn some tips and tricks for targeting northern pike through the ice:

  1. Consider using a fluorocarbon leader, which will be practically invisible to any pike, as opposed to a steel leader.
  2. Keep your bait lively by using both a well-aerated bait container and very sharp hooks to minimize injury.
  3. Consider using something flashy with your bait, such as a small spinner blade, to entice pike in murky water.
  4. Don’t be afraid to keep some slush around your hole in the ice to prevent pike from being spooked by your opening.

Want more information on fishing for northern pike? Visit the northern pike page on our website.

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